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Work

Erik Satie

Erik Satie Composer

Unpleasant glimpses (Aperçus désagréables), 3 pieces for piano 4-hands

Performances: 3
Tracks: 7
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Musicology:
  • Unpleasant glimpses (Aperçus désagréables), 3 pieces for piano 4-hands
    Year: 1908-12
    Genre: Other Keyboard
    Pr. Instrument: Piano 4-Hands
    • 1.Pastorale
    • 2.Choral
    • 3.Fugue
Aperçus désagréables is a set of three piano duets, composed immediately following Satie's late return to formal education at the Paris Schola Cantorum (he entered at the age of forty!). They represent the beginnings of the composer's mature style, and foreshadow the economical counterpoint of his later works for the piano. Immediately denounced by critics, who called them "pretentious and boring," they also underline the often ironic twists in Satie's public reception; having originally been dismissed as an undisciplined amateur, he saw his newly-rigorous style rejected for precisely the opposite reasons. However, it is precisely this new compositional aesthetic—marked by irony, wit, and reticence—that would eventually form his legacy and exert a great influence on fellow French composers.

"Fugue" was the first of the three Aperçus composed, completed in August of 1908, followed in September of that same year by "Choral." The "Fugue"—essentially a dialogue between two pianists—was written with Satie's friend Claude Debussy in mind as the second pianist—and the two did play the piece together in September of 1908. It is possible that the other two duets were also conceived with Debussy in mind. The "Pastorale" was not written until October of 1912, and is decidedly melancholy in character. "Pastorale" was completed around the same time as En Habit de cheval, another collection of fugues and chorales.



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